An adventure, with appendix and maps
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An adventure, with appendix and maps
- Moberly, C. A. E. (Charlotte Anne Elizabeth), 1846-1937; Jourdain, Eleanor F. (Eleanor Frances), 1863-1924
- Publication date
- Marie Antoinette, Queen, consort of Louis XVI, King of France, 1755-1793, Petit Trianon (Versailles, France), Spiritualism and psychical research
- London, Macmillan
- Robarts - University of Toronto
Authorship attributed to Charlotte A.E. Moberly and Eleanor F. Jourdain by Halkett and Laing, Dict. anon. and pseud., new ed., v. 1, p. 38; Who's who, 1935, under Moberly, C.A.E
"First edition January 1911, reprinted ... 1911, 1912. Second edition with appendix and maps 1913, reprinted 1913."
Three visits to the Petit Trianon.- Results of research.- Answers to questions.- A rêverie.- Appendix
- 2010-08-26 14:31:16
- Jourdain, Eleanor F. (Eleanor Frances), 1863-1924
- Call number
- Canon 5D
- abbyy-to-hocr 1.1.37
- Full catalog record
Subject: “Credulous and Self-deceived”
It was the myth that everyone wanted to believe, although it never stood up to any test. It had become simply too sacred to cheapen as a hoax.
Two Oxford lady-scholars compare notes about a visit they had once made to Versailles, and conclude that they had experienced a time-slip back to revolutionary days, with recognisable buildings known to have been long demolished, and people in authentic period costume, one of them probably Marie-Antoinette, sitting on a wall sketching. All shot-through with a disturbing, chilly atmosphere, like entering Dracula’s village.
It became an unexpected best-seller for its mystery and charm, set among the scenic wooded paths around Petit Trianon, the queen’s favourite refuge from the pressures of palace life. But it instantly set off a chorus of sneering sceptics, led by the Society for Psychical Research, deflating the claims with pitiless logic.
Since the ladies admitted that they had got badly lost, how could they be sure which locations they were describing? In any case, how can two people experience a joint-hallucination - especially as they each claimed to have witnessed several scenes that the other had not? And why were so many of the details altered in later editions of the book?
For me, the most significant development came after both ladies were dead, and their literary executor Joan Evans (possibly a lesbian associate) dug up a strange report about the owner of a neighbouring chateau who claimed that he had been holding rehearsals for a Louis XVI costume party, with transvestites playing the women’s parts, and the two of them had simply wandered into it by mistake. Evans found this so convincing that she actually suppressed the book on the grounds that it was now shown to have been misleading. By cheating herself of years of handsome royalty payments, Evans clearly demonstrates the highest credibility of all.
Subject: An interesting report of psychic phenomena
It's unfortunate that, with experiences of this kind, there is no kind of proof that is satisfactory. That is why so many people who have strange experiences, myself included, tell no-one. If two or three people see something, they are mistaken, mentally ill or out for publicity. Even if thousands see it, like the incident involving the sun seen by the children of Fatima, then it is mass hysteria. There really is no way to win. It is not something that can lend itself to scientific experiment and repetition; even though quantum physics has proven that the observer has an impact and can act as a catalyst on what is seen, scientists will not extrapolate logically from that premise that a particular observer may witness something that is not seen by another simply by virtue of the fact that it IS another. While this is common sense, it seems not to follow logically to scientists. Therefore, unfortunately, the best policy is to keep these things to yourself, because they will not be believed.
After all, some people will see Schrodingers cat as alive, and some will see him as dead, and never the twain shall meet; but for those individuals who are open minded, this is a good read.
Subject: Great women.
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